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Title: Conservation of biodiversity: Traditional approach
Authors: Sensarma, Priyadarsan
Keywords: Traditional approach
Biodiversity
Conservation
Visnu Samhitā.
Issue Date: Jan-2004
Publisher: CSIR
Abstract:  Measures to conserve biodiversity have been taken in India since hoary past. Elements of this aspect of traditional wisdom can be gathered through analytical studies of the ethnic societies, which are less influenced by the modern civilization, and also by scrutinizing the ancient texts written in Sanskrit, Pali, Tamil, etc. The Visnu Samhitā is one such scripture in Sanskrit language. It appears that this work contains some direct instructions in connection with conservation of the biodiversity. These commands are interspersed along with others in different chapters. The same have been collected and recorded together under appropriate heads. The same have been compared with similar information found in some other Sanskrit works with a view to tracing the possible course of evolution of the traditional approach. According to the text of the Visnu Samhitā, causing any harm to the plant(s) or animal(s) is a sin. Even purloining of part(s)/product(s) of any of these living beings is a crime. The sinner/criminal is liable to chastisement in this life and also after death. The punishments are of diverse nature — pecuniary, corporal, expiatory, and donation of specific article(s) to a Brahmin. In this scripture there are some indirect instructions too, which can be gleaned by analyzing the dietary regulations and the use of biodiversity in different religious rites. These, however, have not been included in the present article.
Page(s): 5-11
ISSN: 0975-1068 (Online); 0972-5938 (Print)
Source:IJTK Vol.03(1) [January 2004]

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